Wildfires Already? Learning from the Meadow Creek Fire
June, often wet and cool, is not typically wildfire season in Washington. But firefighters have already had to content with several small human-caused fires this year.
Hot, dry temperatures and lightning storms typically proceed wildfire season in Washington. This year, though, firefighters have already battled several, small human-caused fires, even though things are still relatively cool and wet.
Earlier this week, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest reported:
The 58-acre Meadow Creek Fire discovered on June 4 in Meadow Creek drainage, about 5 miles north of Lake Wenatchee, was ignited from an abandoned campfire. Almost 100 personnel (including helicopters dropping water, fire engines, and four 20-person firefighting crews) assisted in suppressing the fire at an estimated cost of $500,000!
Fire investigators determined the fire had been smoldering underground for a few days before it was discovered.
Simple ways to be a hero for forests
The National Forest says they can't stress enough "how very important it is for forest users to ABSOLUTELY MAKE SURE their campfires are completely out before leaving their campsite."
We don't control lightning strikes, but as a precaution against another wildfire season like last year, please help prevent human-started fires.
- If you're in the backcountry, and especially during high-risk times, it's best to avoid having a campfire altogether. Oftentimes campfires are prohibited above a certain elevation or near certain bodies of water.
- Read more tips about campfire safety, and watch the video below for the proper way to start and put out a campfire in designated rings.